Can I get veteran’s disability if a sexual assault during service gave me PTSD?

Yes, but it may be difficult. In order to collect VA disability for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you must be able to prove a link between your current condition and a specific incident during service. Since many in-service physical and sexual assaults are unreported at the time of the incident, it can be hard to gather sufficient records or documentation that could help prove that the assault occurred.

In order to help assault victims get the benefits they deserve, the VA has allowed less strict evidentiary requirements for veterans who are suffering from PTSD after a sexual assault. The veteran must only provide evidence that an assault occurred during his or her military service and that the event has caused symptoms consistent with PTSD. If veterans do not have medical evidence of the incident in their service medical records, they may also provide evidence from other sources, including:

  • Pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases taken at outside hospitals or clinics.
  • Records from local law enforcement agencies or government authorities.
  • Rape crisis centers or mental health counseling centers.
  • Evidence of changes in mood or behavior following the incident (aggression, alcohol or drug abuse, or other citations in the person’s military service record).
  • Statements from witnesses, including fellow service members, family members, roommates, or trusted advisors.

We Can Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve

We know how difficult it is for a veteran to fight for compensation—and if the veteran has suffered due a personal attack, the fight becomes even more complex. You may be frustrated, ashamed, or angry, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. The VA disability attorneys at Cuddigan Law can take over your case and get you fair compensation without frustration. Read through a free copy of our book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims, or fill out the short contact form on this page to get your questions answered.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska